**Disclaimer: I recorded a free advanced reader’s copy of Followers by Megan Angelo in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for this opportunity.
Followers by Megan Angelo is a Sci-Fi/contemporary story about the downsides of fame and technology. It takes place in two different timelines, with two main points of view, but eventually those timelines collide. I gave it four stars on Goodreads.
Here’s the summary from Goodreads:
An electrifying story of two dream-chasing friends, the dark choices they make, and the profound moment that changes the meaning of privacy forever.
Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss—an ambitious, wannabe Kardashian—comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla and Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.
Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity—twelve million loyal followers—Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.
Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic act of terrorism that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.
As often happens with NetGalley, I think the cover for this one caught my eye and drew me in and the summary sold me on the story. It seemed like an interesting concept that I definitely might enjoy. However, I will admit that it took me a bit to get into it. The start is kind of slow, though not confusing. I didn’t understand why these were the two characters that we were following and I was confused about Marlow’s world could be so different from Orla’s even though the time between them wasn’t really that far apart.
However, as often happens when one is reading a book the answers did eventually come out. As the story unfolds, you learn what happened to change the world so drastically and how our two main characters are connected. The payoff is definitely worth it in the long run, and the story definitely kept me guessing. I had a lot of wonders as the story progressed.
I did really enjoy Angelo’s writing style, and the way she interlocked the two timelines made me want to keep reading. Sections would end on a cliffhanger and I would need to continue on through the next section so I could find out what exactly was happening. However, there were times when I felt that Angelo skipped past what felt like key scenes and that was occasionally frustrating.
Overall, the story was creative and original, but I had a hard time buying into the premise. They always say that you need to have some willing suspension of disbelief and I tried, but it was hard. Then even after I found out what had happened to change the world so greatly, I wasn’t really sure that I bought into it.
The real star of the show were the characters in this story. Marlow and Orla were both super interesting in their own way. Neither were particularly great people but this book was populated with characters who were awful, which I think was part of its point. It depicted the ugly side of people and that is something that it’s important not to forget.
Followers comes out on January 14th, 2020.
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